The knock on early Exodus used to be that the Bay Area legends traded one bad singer for another when Steve Zetro Souza replaced the late Paul Baloff. Funny how time has a way of correcting such sentiment. The sound Souza helped pioneer on the absolutely stunning (at least to these ears) Fabulous Disaster has become a style young thrashers aspire to.

Learn from a legend young-ins. Zetro’s back in ultra-fine form with Hatriot and Heroes of Origin, a Classic (the “C” is intentionally capitalized) thrash disc if there ever was one. Making it more likeable is the fact that it’s a family affair: he’s got his sons Cody and Nick comprising the rhythm section. This is mid-1980s thrash. It makes no concessions to anything that has happened since. It doesn’t need to. With early thrash back in vogue, the arrival of Hatriot is fortuitously timed.

The guitar rhythms crunch unmercifully while the solos keep within a hair of spinning out of control and Souza’s sons show that metal does run through bloodlines. On top of that is the man himself, whose voice hasn’t lost anything to time. As for the tunes? Pick any of the 10. I can’t find a weak spot or sign of filler on the disc. I suppose the argument for sameness could be made but whatever, this is thrash metal. It’s supposed to bash you over the head from start to finish. What you might find yourself listening to over and over are the title track, “Murder American Style” (love the intro), “Globicidal” and “Suicide Run.”

Heroes of Origin might be the best start-to-finish pure metal album I’ve heard all year. It also makes me want to go back and listen to Fabulous Disaster. If only I can get this one out of my steady rotation first.


Label: Massacre Records (CD format can be purchased here).